The definition of information has expanded with the advance of technology. IT professionals design complicated computer networks and info databases. They install applications for those networks and manage databases. They provide engineering of computer hardware, data management, networking and the development and design of software. IT staffers also can manage and provide the administration of the entire computer system.
Information technology is often referred to as “infotech” which is broadly used to define anything used to store, produce or control information. The terms information and technology are referred to as one entity of two processes that rely on each other. Only a few years ago the IT services department of a mid-sized company might well have been one computer guy in a tiny cubicle charged with saving data on magnetic tapes.
That’s a far cry from we now think of as information technology. Now the IT department would be fully staffed with employees working on computers, monitoring servers, and creating database management systems. This is pure information technology at work.
Recently, some have asked whether there is a massive shift in the focus and balance of IT services. The tsunami of businesses now offering their products for sale online has led some to replace the term “information technology” with “interactive technology”.
The difference may be one of degree or of focus. IT traditionally has referred to technology as it applies to managing information. Interactive Technology embraces the user experience and how the customer perceives his technological experience with a business site.
It remains to be seen whether adding interactive to the mix will create a different balance between information and technology. It is more likely the two components will become one experience that focuses on the needs of the site user as well as the need of the owner of a commerce website. While the user is easily transitioning through information provided and the technical tools help him navigate through the info, the site owner may also collect information about the site visitor which is analyzed by other IT programs and used in future marketing campaigns.
Though the balance of information and technology appears to be changing, perhaps it’s time for that to happen. You can reach the point in IT services where information is being manipulated by technology only because it can be done, without much thought as whether doing so contributes to the business. Interactive technology adds a layer of user experience far above the previous requirements to simply store, sort, manipulate and retrieve information.